Project history

Below is the timeline for the Ravenswood Avenue Railroad Grade Separation project.

Date Activity
 September 30, 2019 City Council Rail Subcommittee project update
Agenda
 July 16, 2019 City Council Rail Subcommittee project update
Agenda
Minutes
 May 21, 2019 City Council presentation from Stanford Global Project Center regarding financial feasibility of tunnels for rail
Agenda
Minutes
 April 22, 2019 City Council Rail Subcommittee
Agenda
 March 5, 2019 City Council approval of preferred alternative
Agenda
Minutes
Project study report
 January 31, 2019 City Council Rail Subcommittee
Agenda
Meeting video
 January 15, 2019 City Council study session to provide direction on preferred alternative and potential additional studies
 Dec. 4, 2018 City Council informational item staff report
 May 8, 2018 City Council
Agenda
Staff report
Minutes
Presentation
Meeting video
 April 17, 2018 City Council Rail Subcommittee
Presentation
Meeting video
January 16, 2018 City Council Informational Item
Dec. 5, 2017 Atherton City Council
Minutes
Presentation
Study Session
Nov. 8, 2017 Palo Alto Rail Committee
Presentation
October 10, 2017
City Council
Staff report
Minutes
Presentation
Sept. 13, 2017 Complete Streets Commission
Presentation
Meeting video
Staff report
 Sept. 12, 2017 Atherton Transportation Committee
Presentation
 Sept. 11, 2017 Planning Commission
Presentation
Meeting video
Staff report
 June 7, 2017 Community meeting #3
Presentation
Meeting summary
Meeting summary attachments
Alternative A exhibits
Alternative A East/West video
Alternative C exhibits
Alternative C video
Shoofly exhibits
 April 4, 2017
City Council 
Agenda
Staff report
Minutes
Presentation
 March 20, 2017
City Council Rail Subcommittee public information meeting
Agenda
Presentation
Meeting video
 February 7, 2017
City Council study session
Agenda
Staff report
Minutes
Presentation
Alternative A East/West Video
Alternative A Flyover Video
Dec. 5, 2016 Planning Commission meeting
Presentation
Nov. 14, 2016 Bicycle Commission meeting
Presentation
Nov. 9, 2016 Transportation Commission meeting
Presentation
October 4, 2016 Community meeting #2
Presentation without videos - Attachment E (5.5 MB)
Presentation with videos - Attachment D (54.6 MB)
Meeting exhibits (32.3 MB)
Meeting summary
May 2, 2016 Community meeting #1
Presentation without videos (2.5 MB)
Presentation with videos (40 MB)
Meeting exhibits (boards)
Meeting summary
March 15, 2016 The City Council awarded a contract to consultant team to perform the Ravenswood Avenue Grade Separation Project Study report.
Agenda
Staff report
Minutes
Early 2016 On January 21, 2016, three consultant teams submitted proposals. A panel of City and Caltrain staff reviewed the proposals and identified the most qualified teams to invite for interviews. On February 4, 2016, City and Caltrain staff interviewed two consultant teams and selected the most qualified team.
Agenda
Staff report
Minutes
December 14, 2015 The City issued a request for proposals for this project.
May 5, 2015 The City Council provided direction on two potential alternatives that should be evaluated as part of the report: 1) Undercrossing alternative: Maintain the existing Caltrain tracks, and tunnel Ravenswood Avenue under the tracks and 2) Hybrid or split alternative: Partially raise the Caltrain tracks and partially lower the roadways under the tracks. This alternative would need to consider all four Menlo Park crossings for potential impacts.
March 2015 The City Council Rail Subcommittee hosted a public meeting to review the prior grade separation studies, and requested that the Council consider potential modifications to the Rail Policy to allow evaluation of all potential grade separation alternatives, including potential elevated rail alignments. On May 5, 2015, the City Council provided direction on two potential alternatives that should be evaluated as part of the report.
Agenda
Meeting video
Early 2015 In early 2015, staff initiated project planning for the grant-funded report with Caltrain and SMCTA to finalize the project scope for conceptual plans and any preferred alternatives for the Ravenswood Avenue crossing.
November 14, 2013 The City was awarded a $750,000 grant from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority Call for Grade Separation Projects to complete a project study report for Ravenswood Avenue. The report process would include preparation of conceptual designs, assessment of local circulation and property impacts, community engagement, and identification of a preferred alternative. The project was included in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal year 2015-16.
2012-2013 SMCTA issued a Call for Grade Separation Projects following the 2009 SMCTA Footprint study and High Speed Rail and Caltrain Blended System planning efforts. The City applied for funding for Ravenswood Avenue, based on City Council’s prioritization of at-grade crossings in October 2012.
2009 SMCTA completed a footprint study to review engineering feasibility of grade separation alternatives, also studying six options within Menlo Park and two that would span Menlo Park and Atherton. Achieving full rail elevation or depression requires that the extent of the work area be extended through Atherton, north to the existing Fifth Avenue overcrossing in Redwood City.
2004 San Mateo County voters approved the continuation of the collection and distribution by the SMCTA of the Measure A half-cent transportation sales tax and accompanying Transportation Expenditure Plan for an additional 25 years beginning January 1, 2009 (new Measure A).
2003 City Council affirmed the concept of split-level grade separations, with tracks partially elevated and roadways partially depressed, as the preferred design. The council also requested that an alternative of deep undercrossings at Ravenswood and Oak Grove avenues only be kept under consideration.
2002 City Council awarded a study contract for a feasibility study that evaluated six options for grade separation alternatives within the City, including different combinations of rail and roadway elevations. These prior studies are available in the document links to the right.